One thing you hope for, when the summer holidays roll round, is that there’ll be lots of lovely moments. Moments even, maybe – ones where you can stand still for a moment, and just soak them in.
I decided at the start of the summer that I’d try and have a round-up of some of these.
I used to write a summer holiday diary as a child (or at least there are a couple of years’ worth). I don’t get that far now, but a few happy memories, that I can find time for.
So here are some of this summer’s moments so far. Like pressed flowers, preserved for that little bit longer.
Depending on how many moments stand out, there may be a few more of these posts.
I rather hope so.
A week of tennis lessons. Kids hard at it on the courts, mums and grannies and general hangers on at the side. One enterprising granny has a fold-up chair with her.
We agree that there will be lots of trips to the playground after tennis this week – because it’s a good one. Because it’s right next to the tennis courts. Because, well, it’s the summer, and playground time in dry weather is something to be seized with both hands.
There is a walk in the Botanic Gardens one day, a deux, with Junior Reader. We browse lots of interesting paths, hide under trees, seek out the tops of the waterfalls we can hear at a distance.
It’s sunny, and we have been out all morning and half the afternoon. By the time we bus home, we’re both tired, but happy.
There is the beginning of reading of the first Harry Potter book, out loud, to Junior Reader. Dan and I have read them all – indeed, we read them aloud to each other, right through to book 7. (Oh OK. I did read ahead a bit in book 7 – couldn’t not.)
Dan does the reading honours, but I beg rights to read one chapter, where Harry has to buy his things for school – including his wand.
It is back to the old magic – the reading magic of sharing a book you like, for the first time. Junior Reader knows a bit of the story, true, from a school friend who is a few books ahead. But we get to share it together, right from the start. It feels good.
There is a day where we are required to be on a Secret Mission. We bought a few little things to say well done to Junior Reader at the end of the school year. Junior Reader, not to be outdone, wants to buy something back for us.
We miss buses and we walk to different bus stops and have a few other distractions, but we finally secure some chocolate digestives. Because that’s what grownups like, as far as Junior Reader is concerned. (We concur.)
There is a trip to Perthshire to see a former school friend. It is one of those happy playdates where you abandon your child to their friend, their plans, and sit with the mum, tea and biscuits to hand, catching up.
They send us back with soft fruit – because it is the right place in Scotland for soft fruit. Especially raspberries.
The fruit disappears fast, as soft fruit always does, but I make sure to pass by the kitchen counter regularly, and inhale the scent of the raspberries a few times. And to eat them, very slowly.
There are a few more afternoon films than might normally happen, and a certain amount of parental napping during these. Because everyone needs some down time, even if they’re On Duty.